Manatee County Habitat for Humanity and Manatee Literacy Council joined forces during the 2016 Giving Challenge under the theme "Building a Foundation Together." They are once again partnering for the 2018 Giving Challenge, this time under the theme "walk in each other's shoes" in order to more deeply understand the people we serve, their needs, and each other's programs. Manatee Literacy Council participated in a Manatee Habitat for Humanity Build Day on April 17, 2018.
Both organizations strive to provide independence and dignity to individuals in our community. Habitat for Humanity builds the foundation of a home. Manatee Literacy Council builds the foundation of the family by improving literacy skills. With their combined volunteer bases, they hope to initiate positive change in Manatee County.
Their first venture together involved Bradenton’s 13th Avenue Dream Center. Habitat for Humanity recently was awarded a literacy grant from the Rubbermaid Foundation to build mobile library carts and partner with a community organization to help support their literacy programs. The 13th Ave. Dream Center of United Community Centers was chosen for the literacy partner. Manatee Literacy Council stocked the library carts with reading material. “Although we focus on adult literacy, we are glad to provide any help in advancing literacy at any age level in Manatee County”, states Roger Boos, former Manatee Literacy Council Board President.
The dedication of these new mobile library carts took place on Thursday, September 8, 2016, at the Dream Center. The children and youths of the Dream Center used their artistic talent to paint and decorate these carts. They were then stocked with books provided by Manatee Literacy Council. According to Alexdrena Green, COO of the Dream Center, “We are excited to collaborate with Manatee Literacy Council and Habitat for Humanity to make available literary resources to the youth and adults in the neighborhoods surrounding the 13th Avenue Dream Center. Through this partnership it is our hope to minimize the obstacles and barriers that prevent the development of life long readers and productive corporate citizens.”
Manatee Literacy Council continues to donate books to recipients of Habitat for Humanity homes.
Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM)
LECOM is the nation's largest medical college, attracting students from across the United States and the world to study osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, and dental medicine at its main campus in Erie, Pennsylvania, and its branch campus in Bradenton, Florida. With such diverse heritage, some LECOM students have trouble communicating in English via text, email, or casual conversation--all skills that are necessary for success in the medical field. Manatee Literacy Council is providing a 12-week course for LECOM students who need help with formal and conversational English and all the associated technology that is used every day.
Island Real Estate
Island Real Estate is Anna Maria Island’s leading full service Real Estate Agency and Vacation Rental Company, specializing in waterfront properties, rentals, investment property, beach homes, island homes and more. Manatee Literacy Council is providing a two-month Workplace Literacy course for Island Real Estate employees who are English-as-a-Second-Language learners. These classes are tailored to employees' day-to-day work needs. Manatee Literacy Council Board Member Mayu Fielding has designed lessons that are practical and will help employees better perform their jobs and increase their confidence along the way.
Volunteer Verna Urbanski teaches Goodwill Manasota employees
Goodwill's mission is changing lives through the power of work. English is not the native language for about 12 percent of the employees at Goodwill Manasota. These are people who may have strong skills from their country of origin, but they cannot use them in the United States without being able to speak English. Their lack of English skills is a barrier to self sufficiency, and it prohibits them from doing their preferred jobs. In a partnership spanning more than a decade, Manatee Literacy Council helped Goodwill Manasota employees improve their English so they can move up and move on.
Now Manatee Literacy Council is fortunate to be situated in office spaces adjoining Goodwill Manasota's West Bradenton location.
Hear Goodwill Manasota's Story: Watch Video